Mediterranean restaurant roundup in time to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties in Reading Terminal Market has been a mainstay for 41 years. They specialize in handmade pies, a Middle Eastern staple, using homemade Phyllo dough.

Kamal's is family-owned and operated by three brothers, Hesham, Adham and Anwar Albarouki. They recently took over from their parents who migrated from Syria 40 years ago.

The falafel chickpeas are soaked overnight by the buckets. There's a fresh fruit smoothie and juice bar where they're known for their famous Lemon-nana. You'll find a variety of baklava with one called mini rose cashew, which has a hint of rose water.

For the past 11 years, Bella Vista's Al Zaytouna has been serving Eastern Mediterranean near the Italian Market. Owner and Chef Koubeil Ben Ayed says his most famous dish is the branzino, which is imported fresh from the Mediterranean.

Ayed is from Tunisia, a country known for its olive trees. Al Zaytouna means "the olive" in Arabic. Ayed says his favorite dish is Tunisian Couscous. Other popular dishes include mixed meat kebab with beef, lamb, chicken and kofta and vegan lentil soup, with lentils sourced from the Amish.

Queen Village's Cilantro New Mediterranean is a go-to spot for authentic Egyptian eats. The lamp chops and mixed meat kebabs are top sellers.

Cilantro is family-run and it all started in Egypt, where they had their first restaurant. Mom and Head Chef Dalia Soliman is a famous chef back home known for her homemade hummus and eggplant mustafa. Dad, Mohammed Elazazy, is a famous film actor turned chef.

They make a traditional Egyptian pastry called the Hawawshi, also called the Cilantro Signature. Their children Marwan and Eyad Elazazy are helping hands and also happen to be world champion Muay Tai kickboxers. People travel from all over for the Fat Boy filled with two meats and their secret white sauce and they leave with the homemade Baklava.

Cilantro Mediterranean | Instagram

613 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147

Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties | Faceboook
Reading Terminal Market
1136 Arch Street, Unit 23, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Al Zaytouna | Facebook | Instagram
906 Christian Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.